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TMFEditorsDesk (< 20)

Really, Rick Santelli? Really?!



March 03, 2010 – Comments (14) | RELATED TICKERS: WFC , C

This will be my 3rd shout out to the SNL news skit informally known as “Really!?! With Seth & Amy”. (click here to see the 2nd part of the series on CIT (NYSE:AIG)).

Today’s Event: its show time again on CNBC, where Rick Santelli -- on-air editor, former commodities trader and now Tea Party extraordinaire -- debates the merits of financial reform and consumer protection.

Amongst other participants, Santelli argues with Janet Tavakoli, an author of structured finance, with regard to predatory lending. Tavakoli admits that there is much blame to spread (including on borrowers), but like most intellectual creatures, she understands that of course some of the issues from 2008 stem from predatory lending and investment banks willing to spread around dodgy securitized loans. After all, banks from Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) to Countrywide to Citigroup (NYSE:C) have all been accused of this practice.  

However, before Tavakoli can finish her gently-delivered opinion, Santelli’s face is bursting at the seams like an over-roasted beet. Shaking his head furiously, he bursts into flames (not really) and screams:

“It takes two to tango. You can’t cheat an honest man!”

Really Santelli? This is your academic, professional opinion. “It takes two to tango.” Really?! I mean you are, after all, a CNBC editor, a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, a former Vice President of Institutional trading --  and all you’ve got is an old axiom from the 1950’s? Hmmm. Really?

And what does it mean that you can’t “cheat an honest man”? That makes no sense. Please, complete your thought above, because, really, you sound like a bumbling, bewildered, and livid old man.

I’m sorry, but I’m sick of news pundits with outrageously zealous agendas, left or right.


-Jordan (TMFPhillyDot)

14 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 04, 2010 at 7:38 AM, OneLegged (< 20) wrote:

There are many trying to follow the Rush Limbaugh model.  Sensationalization taken to the extreme.

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#2) On March 04, 2010 at 11:17 AM, shymel52 (< 20) wrote:

     And I wonder how Rick's neighbor felt and the status of their relationship since Mr. Santelli berated his neighbor for drastically overspending and being a fool like the rest who caused the financial meltdown by overspending.  "Simple answers to complex problems" and only revealing a slice of the truth are almost always deceitful ploys.

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#3) On March 04, 2010 at 3:09 PM, imobillc (< 20) wrote:

I can't stand Rick Santelli......


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#4) On March 05, 2010 at 7:27 PM, CMFStan8331 (97.18) wrote:

The fact that many individuals helped bring on their own problems has nothing to do with the question of predatory or unacceptable lending practices.  If I travel to a dangerous place in search of a pot of gold and get killed for my trouble, it may be true that I was an idiot but that does not in any way absolve the murderer of responsibility for his actions.  One of the most basic logical fallacies.

Santelli is a buffoon, which I wouldn't mind so much if he were less snide.  As shymel52 previously commented, simple answers to complex problems virtually always involve the sale of snake oil... 

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#5) On March 06, 2010 at 12:27 AM, craigt101 (< 20) wrote:

Hee Haw!  Santelli admits it "takes two to tango".  After all, he admits in that one sentence he is as dishonest as he claims the other side is.  And that makes him a donkey with his own head up his a__

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#6) On March 06, 2010 at 8:49 PM, NHWeston102 (73.32) wrote:

If you "can't cheat an honest man", Mr. Santelli, then does that make Bernie Madoff a hero? CNBC delights in replaying Mr. Cramer's "Rant Heard Round the World" as though apoplexy equates to analysis [a depiction made gently comic by Erin Burnett in her Giraffe-pattern smock with this exquisite look of bland "Where's-the-water-bucket?" exasperation]. Somehow, though, they passed on making Rick's "Buncha losers!!" outburst part of their self-promotional repertoire. Glad i missed that episode. How did we ever get to a place where plain old dumb-bum rudeness passes for sincerity?

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#7) On March 09, 2010 at 9:55 PM, ferret1954 (< 20) wrote:

The only person on CNBC with any brains is Steve Liesman yet he hardly gets to talk due to the incessant chatter of other incompetent CNBC employees. I like Bloomberg TV better.

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#8) On March 09, 2010 at 9:57 PM, ferret1954 (< 20) wrote:


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#9) On March 10, 2010 at 12:35 PM, ButterflyOne (< 20) wrote:

I often read investment articles on; at least they aren't always trying to sell me something.

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#10) On March 15, 2010 at 11:40 PM, jasonbtoo (< 20) wrote:

Wikipedia much?'t_Cheat_an_Honest_Man

I'd never heard of it either, so I actually used the Internet to look something up!  The quote is apparently a line from a movie said by an incorrigible con artist.  So here's my inference of Mr. Santelli's statement:

Janet Tavakoli says banks were at fault, but the people signing-up for the loans are culpable too.  Santelli's quote is pretty much saying the people were too ignorant to be culpable.  Thus, it 'takes two to tango' (the banks and the customers needed to agree), but 'you can't cheat an honest man' (the customers were too stupid to even participate in the agreement). 

Now, I can't say I agree with this assessment.  I say if you sign something you better *know* (thoroughly) wtf you are signing.   However, I can't not defend Santelli either: to those of us who actually know Mises economics (, he makes perfect sense.  

 Steve Liesman knows everything there is to know about the inner workings of the FED and the associated politics, but he knows next to nothing about market fundamentals or applied macroeconomics.  The only thing he's good for is identifying the ignorant people -- those that agree with him on forums like this.

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#11) On March 16, 2010 at 12:34 PM, TMFSpeck (59.67) wrote:

The phrase "You can't cheat an honest man" is meant to imply that cons only work if the mark is a willing participant, i.e., wants something for nothing (or at least less than it's worth); an "honest man" would not want to take undue advantage of another.

I don't mean this to be taken as support for Santelli's position, but rather to answer the question posed in your post.

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#12) On March 21, 2010 at 4:29 PM, eddietheinvestor (< 20) wrote:

I'm a big fan of Rick Santelli.  He's one of the few people on CNBC who has the guts to tell the truth.  He's smart, honest, he makes sense, and has much integrity.  

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#13) On March 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM, sid2286 (21.73) wrote:

I am so sick of the Tea Party types.  Since when did volume and folksy sayings turn into substance? 

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#14) On April 09, 2010 at 4:44 PM, TMFCop (85.76) wrote:

Yes, really!

Too bad more on air personalities don't have the courage of their convictions like Santelli does.

It might be fun to mock the Tea Partiers as rubes for holding quaint notions like individualism, freedom, and self-reliance, but then again, that's part of what's gotten us into the situation we're in. It's the folks who think they're entitled to the fruits of my labor to redistribute it to they're favorite handout recipient, on both the left and right, that's caused the financial, economic, and social problems we have.

Santelli happens to speak for quite a few people who truly have had enough of government's grubby hands digging ever deeper into our pockets.

Of course, I have no idea what the heck he was talking about in the clip, but I do understand the emotion and why that anger boils up and explodes. 

So, yes, really!


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